2 Nov 2011

PNG ex-servicemen camp outside PM's offices

6:02 am on 2 November 2011

A group of Papua New Guinea ex-servicemen are still camped outside the prime minister's offices after rampaging the property on Monday in anger over a delayed payment.

The group was as big as 200 when they set on Morauta Haus in Waigani, which houses the office of the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Our correspondent Jonathan Tannos says the disgruntled former servicemen inflicted some damage to property and state-owned motor vehicles.

He says they are protesting because after two years they are still waiting to receive their final retirement payments, and he says they have a lot of public sympathy.

"These are people who spent a good twenty, thirty, forty years of their lives serving the Defence Force and for them to be forgotten that is where the sympathy from the community emanates."

Jonathan Tannos says most of them come from rural PNG and need the money to move back to their villages.

The government says it's working on getting the entitlements paid but says the delay is due to some of the claims to entitlement being illegitimate and the fact that some of the entitlements have already been issued.

Meanwhile, there's an increased police presence around the Prime Minister's premises.